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LETTER xsx             A MOUNTAIN VIEW                         325

of white quartz. Below, the valley opens and discloses
ranges bathed in ineffable blue. The mountain sides are
aflame with autumn tints, and down their steep paths
oxen are bringing the tawny gold of the late harvest on
rude sledges. But the shadow of the Kurd is over it all.
I left English-speaking people so lately that I scarcely
realise that I am now alone in Central Kurdistan, in one
of the wildest parts of the world, among fierce predatory
tribes, and a ravaged and imperilled people.

I bade the Patriarch farewell at six this morning, and
even at that early hour men were seated all round his
room. After shaking hands with about thirty people, I
walked the first mile accompanied by Mr. Browne, who
then left me on his way to seek to enlighten the wild
tribesmen of the Tyari valley. From the top of the
Kamerlan Pass, above Kochanes, the view was inconceiv-
ably beautiful. On the lovely alp on which the village
stands a red patch of autumnal colouring flamed against
the deep indigo and purple mountains of Diz and Shaw-
utha, which block up the east end of the lofty valley;
while above these rose the Jelu ranges, said to be from
12,000 to 15,000 feet in altitude, bathed in rich pure
blue, snow-fields on their platforms, new-fallen snow on
their crests, indigo shadows in their clefts and ravines,—
a glorious group of spires, peaks, crags, chasms, precipices,
rifts, parapets, and ridges perfect in their beauty as seen
in the calm coloured atmosphere in which autumn loves
to die. Higher up we were in vast solitudes, among
splintered peaks and pasturages where clear streams
crashed over rock ledges or murmured under ice, and
then a descent of 1800 feet by steep zigzags, and a
seven hours' march in keen pure air, brought us through
rounded hills to this village.

Van, November 1.—There was a night alarm at Kot-
ranis. A number of Kurds came down upon the threshing-